The Battle of the Gods and Giants

Plato, The Sophist 246a-c (trans. Eva Brann, et al.)

Plato took to be the fundamental contours of philosophizing in the ancient world.

The Battle of the Gods and Giants

Stranger: And it does seem that among them there is a sort of Battle of the Gods and Giants, because of the dispute they have with each other about beinghood.

Theaetetus: How so?

Stranger: Those on one side drag all things down out of the heavens and the invisible realm, literally grabbing rocks and trees with their hands. They grasp all such things and maintain strenuously that that alone is which allows for some touching and embracing. For they mark off beinghood and body (matter, material things) as the same; and if anyone from the other side says that something is that has no body, they despise him totally and don’t want to listen to anything else.

Theaetetus: These certainly are terrible men you’ve told of. For even I have already run into packs of them.

Stranger: That’s why those who dispute with them defend themselves very cautiously out of some invisible place on high, forcing true beinghood to be certain thought-things and disembodied forms. But the bodies of their opponents and what these men call truth, they bust up into small pieces in their arguments and call it, instead of beinghood, some sort of swept-along becoming. And between these two, Theaetetus, a tremendous sort of battle over these things has forever been joined.

Plato, The Sophist246a-c (trans. Eva Brann, et al.)

Plato took to be the fundamental contours of philosophizing in the ancient world.Famous passage, which is highly significant, that rehearses previous opinions.

Plato went to the thinking direction. Aristotle said, “No” both matter and thought- soul-form are real. Somehow we must figure out how both matter and form exist in man. This is the Gordian Knot, which needs to be cut.

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